The Youngstown Business Incubator is expected to share the results of two independent studies that demonstrate its far-reaching economic impact in both the Mahoning and Shenango valleys at a press conference this morning at 10 a.m. at YBI.
As the economy moves forward from the Great Recession of 2007-08, economists have pegged the technology sector as a leading growth factor in a way that military spending helped the economy after the Great Depression that started in 1929.
Though it was first established in 1995 as a mixed-use incubator, in 2000 the YBI switched exclusively to fostering information-technology companies in a “managed cluster” that does not graduate companies but rather retains their skills and expertise to help grow the remaining companies in its fold.
As a result, the YBI has achieved success in recent years that has garnered national attention and helped to establish the city and surrounding area as a place for blossoming software and high-tech companies to operate in a competitive and low-cost environment.
The YBI commissioned Prodigal Media of Boardman to conduct a brand assessment aimed at identifying its strengths. Prodigal’s research, pulled from focus groups, online surveys and local business officials, is expected to show that YBI has proved itself as a broad “catalyst for change in the community,” according to a Wednesday press release.
Likewise, YBI already has released an entirely separate study, conducted by Cleveland-based Kleinhenz & Associates, that shows the incubator’s Northeast Ohio clients have created or supported 610 new jobs, generated outside sales of $76 million and provided wages or labor income of $23 million.